Setting up PGP on Windows with Thunderbird

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Here’s a short (well, kinda short) rough guide on getting setup with PGP on Windows with Thunderbird! We will be using Gpg4win to provide the GnuPG tools and essentials for easily using PGP, and Enigmail to add support to Thunderbird for OpenPGP signing and encryption.

Installing Gpg4win

Head over to Gpg4win and download the latest version (v2.2.1 or newer) and once it’s downloaded run the installer. You will be presented with a set of options somewhat like the following:

Gpg4win Setup: Choose Components

Gpg4win Setup: Choose Components

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PGP Encryption and Signing

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Just a quick one to say that I am now PGP signing all outgoing emails that come from my me on either my MacBook or phone. Certain git commits of mine will also be PGP signed.

Related to this, I am now accepting messages both online and by email that have been encrypted using my public key, and I’m also sending encrypted messages to people whose public keys can be easily found (either from key servers or through DNS TXT records).

Key ID – 0xD62083D0

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Creating the WebShop Revolution

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At the little office where I work, in a little village just west of Birmingham (UK), big things have been happening.

Shop Made, one of the three main companies within our offices, have been selling online shops for some time now with an established customer base, almost all of which are using the Magento e-commerce platform. Each shop has been hand-crafted and manually titivated until it becomes a masterpiece – days of work go into each and every shop ever sold, and while that’s not a bad thing, it certainly got us thinking…

Shop Made’s Brainchild

What if we could create the same high-quality e-commerce stores, build them upon the same industry-leading e-commerce platform, but do it all in a fraction of the time and soon on a much larger, albeit global scale?

If other companies can make e-commerce so easily saleable as its own hosted package then surely we can, right? We may not have the huge workforce nor the upfront investment that our now-competitors have, but something we do have is passion and commitment.

It was all talk at first, somewhat being the original “pipe-dream” of the company that is now a far more reachable goal than before seen. Nonetheless, Office-talk turned into meetings, meetings became planning, and planning became development.

That’s where I come in – I was tasked with the creation of a system that can make online shops with just a few easy steps.

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Work Life, Projects, and More.

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Since early July ’13 I’ve been rather busy, with a new Full-Time job and a few projects on the side it’s safe to say my personal blog has become somewhat neglected in this time. Sixteen days into 2014 and I’ve decided to find time for this site once again – I’ve tweaked and tuned stuff under-the-hood, set up a whole new theme, and even moved servers.

U-GPRV: Unmanned General-Purpose Reconnaissance Vehicle

The U-GPRV project, our computer-controlled drone, had slowed to almost a complete halt, entirely due to lack of spare time on my part, but thankfully it’s picking up pace again. The software is under development and the aircraft is almost fully assembled, we should be in the air in no time! – U-GPRV Project

Web Shop Revolution

Web Shop Revolution is a rather exciting project that came about through work. We’re working to create a really easy-to-use hosted e-commerce solution with a minimalist WYSIWYG-Style setup, but a powerful core, built around the eBay-owned Magento system. The directors are aiming to launch at the end of Q1 2014, so not long until we hit the digital shelves with our all-new SaaS e-commerce platform! – Check out Web Shop Revolution

Other Blogs

As part of the Isaac Nash SEO group, I’ve recently been contributing content to a number of sites and blogs – As a WordPress consultant, I’m currently contributing over at Support4Wordpress, offering guides and support for WordPress, including security tips, setup guides, and discounted access to a number of support and hosting services!

OpenTicket

Working as a software developer is awesome, but there is always a need for a ticket or support system for the end product, both during development and post-sale. I’ve used a number of bug tracking and ticketing systems including Bugzilla, Trac, and I’ve even trialed ZenDesk, but what I truly wanted was a simple, lightweight system that could run on a standard LAMP (or WAMP/MAMP) stack with a modern, with a clean UI that can be re-used over and over for the software I develop. From this, I’ve decided to create OpenTicket – If the name isn’t a giveaway, It’s intent is to be an Open-Source (GPL Licensed) Ticket system. The plan is to make use of HTML5 and CSS3 browser technologies, while using Bootstrap and jQuery to make a modern, responsive ticket system, with PHP and MySQL powering the backend for a fast and interactive UX. You can find it at the OpenTicket website, or Fork OpenTicketPHP on GitHub!

Mmm, Pie… Raspberry Pi! (and Arduino, Too!)

Raspberry Pi and Arduino
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If you haven’t already, you should order a Raspberry Pi right away! (Then come back and read this, of course!).

Note: Click any Image for a full-resolution version. I’ve done a YouTube video which can be found here also.

For such a small and low-cost device, it has so much to offer! The Raspberry Pi is a small, bare-bones computer designed for kids to learn programming at home and in school without the need for expensive equipment – let’s face it, a £30 computer that you (or your kids) can play with, learn from, and enjoy without worrying too much about it getting broken or damaged like you would with a laptop or desktop computer!

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi

I got my first Raspberry Pi (or Raspi/RPi, for short) around one month ago (Model B, Rev 2 – 512Mb), and haven’t put it down since! After a bit of playing and browsing the web (Yes, on the Pi!), I’ve been working to get it to interface with my Arduino Uno (Rev 3) for various projects.

Arduino Uno (Revision 3)

Arduino Uno (Revision 3)

Logic-Level Converter for I2C

Logic-Level Converter for I2C, from Sparkfun

I have the two devices connected by I2C using a simple Logic-Level Converter to compensate for the voltage difference between the two boards. In the image to the right you can see where I soldered two Right-Angle Pin strips (6 per side, totaling 12 pins on the LLC board) to be used for connections between the devices.

Warning: Don’t try and connect the devices without some form of voltage regulation – the Arduino’s logic high is 5v whereas the Raspberry Pi uses 3.3v (or 3v3, as it is often written); Connecting the devices directly will almost certainly damage the Pi’s Processor (and we don’t want that, do we?!).

Below you can see the connection between the two devices.
Pins used on the Raspberry Pi: 1 (3v3), 3 (SDA), 5 (SCL), 6 (GND)
Pins used on the Arduino: 5v, SDA, SCL, GND

Raspberry Pi and Arduino with I2C hookup

Raspberry Pi and Arduino with I2C hookup

Can’t See the Video? Check it out the related video over on my YouTube channel, here!

Note: The Vin pin on the Arduino is unregulated, and will give whatever input voltage is being passed to the arduino (so if you’re running on a 7v PSU, the Vin pin will give 7v); be careful not to accidentally use this pin as you will almost certainly fry something!

Comic Relief: Red Nose Day 2013

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Watch the teachers with the highest bids get gunged at CTC Kingshurst Academy, Birmingham as part of the college’s Red Nose Day 2013 fund-raising efforts for Comic Relief! (Friday 15th March 2013)

As of posting this video, £6625 has been raised from the main events and donations alone – £537.84 of that was from bids for the gunging event!

For more information about what the college did to raise money for RND’13 or to donate, check out the page on the college website.

(Note: The official video should be available from the college directly)

Update: The College Raised a Grand Total of £6531.24 for RND’13